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Russian Fairy Tales Paperback – Sep 12 1976


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 672 pages
  • Publisher: Pantheon; Reissue edition (Sept. 12 1976)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0394730909
  • ISBN-13: 978-0394730905
  • Product Dimensions: 23.1 x 15.2 x 3.6 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 816 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #30,204 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)


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ONCE THERE WAS a wealthy merchant who traded in rare and precious goods, traveling with his wares every year to foreign lands. Read the first page
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Fred Potter on Feb. 18 2011
Format: Paperback
It would seem that whatever style or flair that may have existed in the original texts have been completely lost in this translation. There are times when it seems that it was translated with some kind of software rather than a person who should understand the nuances and meanings of the words, transforming them into English in a meaningful way. Some stories make no sense whatsoever. A very disappointing effort that caused the book to be put away after several attempts.
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Bought this book thinking I would learn a bit about my Russian roots...was originally confused seeing as I assumed these fairytales had positive endings and messages for children but with a cultural touch unique to Russia...so far all the fairy tales I've read about about tricksters, thieves, murderers, and end sadly. For that reason I find it quite funny...you don't know how rough the next fairy tale will be.
Wonderful collection of fairy tales with charming illustrations.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Ian M. Slater on April 1 2004
Format: Paperback
I have owned since 1975 a copy of an earlier, hardcover, reprint edition of this superb collection, which was originally published in 1945. I have used it for both light reading and for serious study (while in courses on Baltic and Slavic Folklore and Folktale Studies). The selection and translation of stories both seem first-rate. (For the latter, I have had to rely on the opinions of those who actually read Russian, instead of just having studied it in school). The accompanying illustrations are properly enchanting -- and only occasionally are placed where they give away the point of the story.
The only real drawback is that it is still merely a selection from about three volumes (depending on the edition you prefer) of "skazki." This is the Russian term for oral tales of marvels, adventures, and misadventures, equivalent to the German "Maerchen." In both cases, the English term "Fairy Tale" is the conventional, but not really adequate, translation. (As usual in large collections, only a handful of tales concern anything like fairies.) One of the requirements for the selection seems to have been that the tales chosen should be acceptable to American parents in the 1940s, but otherwise the considerable variety of the original seems to have been largely preserved. The suggested reader age of "9 to 12" conceals the pleasure that adult readers with interests in folklore or Russian culture will derive from the volume. Fortunately, they may be lead to it by the fine supplementary material at the end, although this is now half a century old.
Afanas'ev (various transliterations) was one of the many nineteenth-century collectors inspired by the Grimms,.
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